On February 27, Mi17V5 chopper crash at Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on near Srinagar, in which all six IAF personnel on board- caused by an Indian air defence missile hit, which “could be one of the possibilities”, reports a highly placed source on Friday.

This might have taken place in the heat of the moment when several Pak fighter jets came near the LoC (Line of Control) in the Naushera sector and the IAF air jets scrambled to take them on.

A few people present on the spot said that they have heard a loud blast before the chopper came crashes down to the ground in thick plumes of smoke. A local boy, named Kifayat Hussain also died in the crash.

The sources said that “if the chopper was indeed hit by an Indian missile, it means there could be a failure of the system put in place to protect assets from friendly fire. But there is a big ‘if’ in all this.”

It continued, “Other possibilities too cannot be ruled out such as a technical snag or the militants down below (in Kashmir). Things would become clearer after a forensic report of the chopper parts comes out.”

The crash happened a day after IAF air fighter has carried out strikes on JeM training camps in Pakistan’s Balakot.

Pakistan reported that it has shot down two IAF “aircraft” on the same day, and a section of its media has extended to claim the Mi17 was also shot down by Pak Air Force fighter jets, but officially the country didn’t announce anything.

When sources asked the IAF to comment over the issue, its spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee said that “In any flying accident, the court of inquiry looks into all the possibilities before conclusively establishing the cause of the accident. In the instant case also, the ongoing court of inquiry is looking into every possibility which could have caused the accident. Before the court submits it’s reported, it will be premature to comment on it.”

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